Food waste the final frontier

Councils in Norfolk are trying to come up with plans to tackle the final frontier of recycling - food waste.Until now councils have done little to try and put to better use the tonnes of unwanted and discarded food which ends up going to waste in landfills.

Councils in Norfolk are trying to come up with plans to tackle the final frontier of recycling - food waste.

Until now councils have done little to try and put to better use the tonnes of unwanted and discarded food which ends up going to waste in landfills.

However, this week North Norfolk Council announced talks were under way to bring in a system in which people scrape their plates, pots and out-of-date food into their brown compost recycling bins.

Under a new treatment process, the combined garden and food waste would then be treated for recycling at a special plant in the district. Now other councils have said they are looking into how they can embrace similar schemes.

Norwich City Council also has plans to start a combined waste scheme from October. A spokeswoman said: “The council has introduced an integrated waste strategy that is set to roll out from October 2007.

“Currently there are no facilities in Norfolk to compost food waste, which would mean transporting it out of the county to be processed, which is not a very environmentally friendly option and would also lead to a rise in costs.”

Most Read

Food waste is the last frontier of recycling, with rubbish from glass, plastic, paper, cans and gardens all relatively easily reused.

Composters have been encouraged, but many householders in the city live in apartments where an outside bin would not be possible.

Friends of the Earth say recycling food waste is important because of the gas it creates in landfill sites. Rotting cooked or raw food produces a form of methane which is harmful, but if collected through organised recycling processes it can be used to provide energy for houses.

Norwich environment campaigner Rob Whittle said: “We would really like doorstep collections for food waste - especially for flats using communal food waste bins collected weekly. It is estimated Norwich produces over 11,000 tonnes of waste food every year.”

Broadland District Council says it currently recycles 48pc of its waste but it is researching how to tackle food waste. Great Yarmouth Borough Council has already investigated the possibility, but decided not to take the matter any further at this stage.

Ü Are you doing something spectacular to help the environment? Call Lucy Bolton on 01603 772429 or email lucy.bolton@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter